During the discussion at the last QSHA Annual General Meeting, the topic of chaplaincy was brought up. Age Smies had apparently also discussed this at the Humanist Canada meeting.
It is understood that people who are seriously ill or dying in hospital have access to priests, pastors or imams if they are religious, but what if they are not? Who is there to comfort them and hold their hand if there are no relatives or they live too far away? We could possibly provide a secular “chaplain” to fill this role.

We will need to contact the hospital auxilliary to find out what is required in a “Chaplain”. If some of our members are also officiants for deaths, births and marriages, could they not also be chaplains? Perhaps at least a one day training session with a certificate to indicate passing the course, would be a good plan. Some counselling skills would be required. Helping someone come to terms with death without the possibility of an afterlife could be one of the services provided, but just being a friend and someone to talk to might be all that is necessary.

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Justin Trottier speaks at Dagmar Gontard’s memorial

Dagmar mem

Dagmar Gontard-Zelinkova’s memorial was held at the Art Gallery of Bancroft on October 19th 2014. Our president, Eric Thomas (Seen from the rear) was invited to speak on behalf of the Quinte Secular Humanist Association and Justin Trottier gave a presentation on behalf of the Canadian Secular Alliance in which he showed a video of Dagmar where he interviewed her in relation to her work in trying to prevent Christian prayers being held at council meetings in Ontario.

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QSHA Annual General Meeting and discussion

Will be held on Sunday October 26th at 1.30 p.m. at Room P22, Loyalist College, Belleville.

Please send nominations for officer positions to Eric Thomas, President.
The discussion topic will be: “What is the appropriate Humanist response to the recent terror attacks?”

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Dagmar died August 12th 2014


Dagmar Gontard-Zelinkova died at her residence on Baptiste Lake, on August 12, 2014.


Having lived in various countries on three continents, Dagmar considered herself a citizen of the world. Locally, she was involved with Baptiste Lake Association and Art Gallery of Bancroft. Dagmar was a freethinker and involved with various free-thought associations in Canada and abroad.  She was also a passionate and active humanist and secularist. Daughter of a physician and wife of a physician, she was interested in bioethics. Upon her arrival to Toronto in the eighties, she discovered a recently founded association, Dying With Dignity (DWD), and quickly became a member and eventually served for a few years on its board. Dagmar’s last public event, which was organized in Bancroft on October 26th, 2013, was about DWD. Memorial donations to DWD, FAREWELL FOUNDATION or Humanist Association of Canada would be gratefully appreciated.


Igor and Alexis BALLEZ, sons

She was an active member of the QHSA and will be greatly missed.

Memorial and slides of her life in Africa will be held at Bancroft Art Gallery in Bancroft, Ontario at 1 p.m. 19th October.

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June Annual QSHA picnic

Will be held this year at the Sabin’s Farm near Plainfield.  Directions will be sent out to members ahead of time. This will be a pot-luck lunch at 12 noon on Sunday 22nd June.  Some games – horseshoes, croquet etc will be on hand.  Bring mosquito repellant, sunscreen lotion etc.  No need to bring lawn chairs. BBQ is available if you wish to cook you own hamburgers, hotdogs etc.

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May monthly meeting

The next meeting of the QHSA will be on May 25th. “What is Humanism? The Amsterdam Declaration.

Place: Room P22, Business and Admin building, Loyalist College, Wallbridge-Loyalist Rd, Belleville, Ontario

Time: 1.30-3.30 p.m.

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Monthly meeting April

Sunday April 27, at 1:30 p.m.


Population Growth: Quinte, Canada, and the Globe? An open  discussion of perspective and options? Have we crossed the line to a “fortress” environment?


Loyalist College, Training and Development Center


Business and Administration Building, room P-22


Wallbridge-Loyalist Road, Belleville


All welcome, no charge to attend!


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Next QSHA meeting is Sunday, March 23rd


Is “sustainable growth” an oxymoron? Is economic growth sustainable?
This is a group discussion with guest participants:
Mike Nickerson, Author of Life Money and Illusions with
Louise Livingstone from Harvest Hastings and representation from Hastings Stewardship and

Loyalist college, Business and Administration Building ( Old Pioneer building) Room P22, 1.3o p.m Sunday 23rd March.

You do not have to be a member of the Quinte Secular Humanists to attend. Coffee provided.

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Response received

We have received, February 13, 2014 an acknowledgment of our letter from the “Political Attache” in the Quebec Provincial legislature. Translation to follow.

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February meeting

1.30 p.m. Sunday February 23rd

Discussion and debate regarding the

Quebec Charter of Values legislation.

Loyalist College, Training and Development Center

Pioneer Building room P-22

Wallbridge-Loyalist Road, Belleville

Proposed letter:

Quinte Secular Humanist Association

c/o 553 Hinch Road, Newburgh, Ontario, Canada. K0K 2S0

Bernard Drainville

Minister Responsible for Democratic Institutions and Active Citizenship

875, Grande Allée Est
5e étage, Bureau H5.725
Québec (Quebec) G1R 4Y8


RE: Quebec Charter of Values, January 2014

Cher, Dear M. Drainville:

The Quinte Secular Humanists Association reaffirms its belief in the separation of Church and State and supports the intent of Bill 60. Our Association has agreed the following statement be publicly broadcast as a clear and succinct position on some of the components of your legislation.


 Public bodies must, in the pursuit of their mission, remain neutral in religious matters and reflect the secular nature of the State. Accordingly, obligations are set out for personnel members of public bodies in the exercise of their functions, including a duty to remain neutral and exercise reserve in religious matters by, among other things, complying with the restriction on wearing religious objects that overtly indicate a religious affiliation.  


As well, personnel members of a public body must exercise their functions with their face uncovered, and persons to whom they provide services must also have their face uncovered when receiving such services.

As Secular Humanists our position on citizen rights extends to a neutrality that allows “humans to respect humans” without governmental prejudice.


Our Association further agrees that a letter stating this support should be sent to Bernard Drainville, Quebec Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions and Active Citizenship with a copy to Humanist Canada and other Provincial Humanist bodies in Canada.


Thank you for launching this “key note conversation” in Quebec and Canada’s evolution to a modern and inclusive society.





Representing the Quinte Secular Humanist Association

Eric Thomas



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